I just naturally think of my slow cooker in the fall and winter. Warm, spicy flavors floating through the house welcoming you when you walk through the door out of the cold and into your refuge.
But. Slow cookers make sense in the summer, too. Like when you need a dessert without heating up your kitchen and with very little effort.
This slow cooker bread pudding using Mexican chocolate is a perfect example of why you should dust off your slow cooker even when it's hot outside. Chocolate and hazelnut goodness that is ooey gooey - and doesn't heat up the whole house. The Hubs called this "the best bread pudding I have ever eaten." Creamy,chocolatey and yet with a fluffy texture. Spectacular.
I used Ibarra Mexican chocolate disks, but you can use any kind, really. If you don't have a Latino market nearby, you can use ½ cup of chocolate chips, plus a dash of almond extract plus a dash of cinnamon.
The sit on your porch swing in the evening and sip lemonade, er, uh, I mean, eat this homey dessert. Paper fan option, but highly encouraged
--posted by Donna
SLOW COOKER CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BREAD PUDDING
16 ounce loaf of Challah bread
4 large eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 small disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (such as Ibarra brand)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ cup diced hazelnuts
Cut Challah bread into 2 inch cubes. Spread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Let sit on counter top for several hours, or overnight, stirring occasionally.
Mix together the eggs, egg yolks and chocolate hazelnut spread until well blended. Stir in milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and salt.
Toss bread cubes with egg mixture. Toss in chocolate chips.
Line a large slow cooker with foil and then spray with oil. Pour in bread mixture and pat down, making sure all bread cubes are covered in custard. Sprinkle brown sugar and nuts on top.
Let cook for 4 hours.
By using the aluminum foil as a sling, remove bread pudding from slow cooker. Let cool to warm. Serve, with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.